August 17, 2016

SIU Day at Du Quoin State Fair set for Aug. 28

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- SIU Day, a celebration of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s connection to the region, is coming to the Du Quoin State Fair on Sunday, Aug. 28. 

The event will feature special guests; demonstrations; fun activities for all ages; giveaways; the opportunity to meet SIU coaches, Saluki dogs and dawgs, athletes and academic representatives: and much more. Everyone is welcome to attend at no cost. It all begins at 2 p.m. in the VIP Tent, located in the southwest corner of the Du Quoin State Fairground near Gate 6, and it wraps up at 9 p.m. 

“Southern Illinois University is excited to open the fair with the Marching Salukis during the twilight parade on Friday night, Aug. 26, and sponsor SIU Day at the Fair Aug. 28 with a full day of fun and exciting family activities planned at the SIU tent,” SIU President Randy Dunn said. “So please bring the family to the fair and enjoy SIU Day at the Fair with me, Chancellor Brad Colwell and representatives of our academic colleges and athletic programs.” 

Visitors will see how composting works and how beer is brewed, learn about livestock judging, discover the latest and greatest in automotive technology and view a demonstration car. They can enjoy blacksmithing, glass, art and 3-D printing demonstrations, or test their athleticism on the climbing wall or with inflatable punt and pass activities. Impromptu science trivia games, astronomy observations, hula hoop fun, face painting, henna tattoos and other artistic activities are in store for those attending. 

Mr. Twist, a balloon artist, will create SIU-themed sculptures and people can get commemorative photos taken at the SIU “Big Red Chair” and photo booth.  There will also be a live radio remote. 

Children can compete for big prize packages in the Saluki Coloring Contest. Grey Dawg will assist in selecting the winners in the age 6 and younger and 7 to 12 year-old age groups. There will also be hands-on, child-friendly science activities and experiments. 

SIU Day at the Fair provides a one-stop snapshot of some of the things that draw students to SIU from all over the United States and more than 100 countries. In addition to Dunn and Colwell, deans and representatives from all of the academic colleges at SIU will be on hand to meet people and share information about their programs. People can also learn more about Veterans Services, the Graduate School and other programs and services. Alumni can sign up to win great prizes in the SIU Alumni Association gift basket raffle. 

Coaches and athletes from various SIU teams will mingle with visitors and athletic event tickets will also be on sale, as will athletic apparel. 

“Our friends and neighbors throughout the region certainly know of SIU, but they may be surprised by the extent of our programs and services,” Colwell said. “This is a great opportunity for them to learn about the many contributions of our faculty, staff and students.” 

There are a couple of special bonuses available to those attending SIU Day as well. At the SIU tent, anyone may purchase wristbands for unlimited rides on the midway at a significantly reduced price. And, while the fair will charge its usual parking fees, people who present a current SIU student/faculty/staff ID or an SIU Alumni Association membership card will receive free admission to the fairground. The ID will provide free admittance for the holder and one additional person; the fair already offers free admission for children ages 12 and younger.

To assure all SIU students who want to attend SIU Day at the Du Quoin Fair are able to do so, free shuttle service will be provided between the SIU Student Center and the Du Quoin State Fair from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. The bus will board in front of the Student Center. 

Additional information, including the complete schedule for SIU Day at the Du Quoin Fair and the shuttle bus schedule, is available at